Is There a Difference?

I am writing this Friday evening as the terrible news of the Connecticut shooting is still coming in so I know no more about it than do you.  As a parent, grand parent, and great grandparent I still cannot begin to imagine the grief of the victims’ relatives. Even so there is one question that really haunts me—

Is there any difference between this shooting and an international situation where a drone aircraft kills an intended target along with a random number of gathered party goers?

We assume that in both cases there is a central target and a motive.  Is there a difference?  We don‛t know as yet concerning the Connecticut slayings but one assumes that a motive will emerge.  It might be the result of insanity.  Is a drone slaying “sane” that is carried out without due process and that results in “collateral damage “?  Is there a difference?

I find it difficult not to remember that there used to be a time when “due process” existed.  In those days, before an execution  was carried out ( if that was the law ) it had to be authorized by a verdict brought down by a judge, or even a jury, after prosecution by the State and with skilled defence on behalf of the accused.

Did the “shooter”in Connecticut indulge in due process?  No.  Does that happen with drone attacks?  No.  Is there a difference?.

As a rural teenager I occasionally hunted groundhogs using a single shot .22.  One groundhog at a time was about all even a good shooter could handle – the others all vanished at the first pop.  I‛m not sure as yet but it appears that the Connecticut shooter may have used a rapid fire “assault”.223 plus a couple of other automatic weapons.  But a drone uses bombs and heaven knows what else.  Is there a difference?

I  must confess that probably one shouldn’t write from the hip while news is still coming in but I cannot help but see the parallels between the micro and the macro.

I don‛t know.  I grow tearful even thinking about it.  What do you think?

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About Munroe Scott

Munroe Scott is a veteran of the freelance writing world.
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3 Responses to Is There a Difference?

  1. Vaughan Lyon says:

    I think the drone attacks – however troubling – have a much higher justification – than the horrible action of a mentally disturbed young man settling scores.

    • Munroe Scott says:

      This not a reply to Vaughan but it is a comment from Lionel who had some difficulty with the reply function of my blog so resorted to an e-mail:
      There is a difference, Munroe, The Connecticut shooting would seem to be the result of some form of mental disorder in the shooter. There can hardly have been any direct connection between him and his victims. One can only assume that the action of the shooter was initiated by some form of mental trigger that was not related to what we would consider reason. On the other hand the use of weapons to wipe out some specific target in the full knowledge that there will be associated casualties is clearly based on cold calculation.
      In either case the result is incredibly sad but the fact that the Connecticut disaster seems to have been the result of unreasoned mental disorder makes it, in my view the more sinister and horrific occurrence.
      There is, however, another thought that this tragedy brings to my mind and it is this. We in the affluent western world, where any major disaster is analyzed ad nauseam by the media, become teary eyed at even the most limited forms of local tragedy such as accidental drowning. But when we are brought face to face on TV with the images of starving children in East Africa , covered in flies and with hardly enough flesh to cover their bones , we don’t form tear laden crowds of mourners. We mutter that this is very sad and change channels.

  2. Earle says:

    What I am thinking at this moment about the Connectticut shooting, Munroe, is that you have written another great “Return to Paradox” item. Cheers Earle

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